Social Cohesion: Dialogue and Reconciliation

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Program Description

The complex challenges presented by war, including violence, poverty and separation, often leads individuals and communities to take refuge in the security of structured ideologies, narratives and identities. If not addressed, communities and generations may become mobilized by revenge, resentment and polarization, becoming a major obstacle to sustainable peace.

Covering 16 to 22 hours, IAHV’s Reconciliation and Dialogue programming supports individuals and communities to increase healing and well-being while also transcending identity based conflict and sectarianism and building social resilience and cohesion. Our practical yet advanced stress-management tools and human values-based education foster respect for cultural sensitivity and diversity and support participation in reconciliation activities.

Case Studies

Colombia

After 52 years of fighting and several years of peace negotiations, the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) agreed to a peace deal that ends the longest armed conflict on the continent. The negotiation process itself went through crises, and it was during one of these crises in 2015 that IAHV Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar intervened.

At the occasion of Sri Sri receiving the highest Civilian Award for his peace work in Colombia, the Colombian President Santos shared with him his despair that a military approach seemed the only remaining solution. Sri Sri offered to talk to the FARC leadership in Cuba. Following these three days of talks, the FARC leadership announced a unilateral ceasefire and adherence to the Gandhian principles of nonviolence to achieve social justice. In this video both the FARC leader Marquez and President Santos thank Sri Sri for his timely and crucial intervention in the peace process.

Art of Living and IAHV will continue their efforts to strengthen the peace process in Colombia by providing programs for healing, trauma-relief, reintegration of combatants, youth leadership and reconciliation.